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A lot of your feelings about retirement will be driven by whether you love, hate or tolerate the work you do. The person who writes a blog called Financial Samuari loved his work. And after he left his job in 2012, he felt adrift.

There are two threads to the Financial Samurai’s story, one of them being the importance of work in the lives of many people and how hard it can be to establish a new identity in retirement. The other relates to the fact that the Samurai was 34 when he retired. Yup, 34. The Financial Independence, Retire Early (F.I.R.E.) has a strong following among millennials. How fun is it really to retire young?

The Samurai’s job was in the securities industry and required frequent trips to Asia. When he left, he missed the excitement and comradery. Worse, he felt like he had no self-worth. “This ego hit took me a full year to get over,” he writes.

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Here’s another killer observation about early retirement: You’ll be disappointed you aren’t happier. “So many people think that once they achieve financial freedom or leave a job they dislike, they’ll suddenly be permanently happier,” he writes. “The truth of the matter is, your elevated happiness will only last at most three to six months. Eventually, you’ll revert to your natural state of being.”

The lesson I take out of this is, whatever your age, don’t look to retirement to make you happy. Find your happiness elsewhere – family, friends, pets, hobbies, exercise, learning, mentoring, volunteering and more.

Mortgage rates, condos and downsizing: Listen to our first Carrick Talks Money call

Carrick Talks Money is our new monthly call-in series for Globe and Mail subscribers. Our first call took place last week, on the topic of housing. Rob and Personal Finance editor Roma Luciw fielded subscriber questions and discussed a range of topics, including mortgage rates, affordability, condos, downsizing and the buy versus rent debate. If you missed it, you can listen to the call by clicking on this link. And yes, you have to be a Globe subscriber to access it.

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Rob’s personal finance reading list…

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The CPP is solid, OK?

An comprehensive explainer on the Canada Pension Plan that address all the major worries and criticisms.

DIY financial planning for people under 40

A financial planner covers five important financial steps for twenty- and thirty-somethings. A good reminder here to be cautious about lifestyle inflation, which means using your pay raises to spend more and not save more (you could do a bit of both).

Water is your enemy

Here’s a look at the most common property insurance claims. In your home, it’s water-related damage. Suggestion: Pull out your home insurance policy and verify what coverage you have for sewer backup and flooding.

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CPP at 70? Here’s why it makes sense

I’m taking another crack at opening minds about staring Canada Pension Plan retirement benefits as late as age 70 instead of the standard age of 65 or as early as 60. Good arguments for delaying the CPP in this blog post.

Today’s financial tool

This income tax calculator shows your after-tax income and lets you do comparisons between provinces and territories.

Ask Rob

Q: Someone once told me that when you give money for charitable causes at the cash register of a store, the store owner will contribute the total amount to the charity in his or her name and get the tax benefits for charitable donations without spending a dime. Is this true? I have been shying away from giving in this fashion since.

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A: I asked an official at the Retail Council of Canada about this for a column I wrote a while back on charitable giving and the answer was no. He said bundled charitable donations are not eligible for tax receipts under Canada Revenue Agency rules.

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

  • The CRA’s new field guide on battling identity theft can help you protect yourself
  • Trevor and Tara are tired of their jobs. Can they to move to B.C. and maintain their standard of living?
  • This investor is paying 2.32% in fees and wants to know if that’s too much

More Carrick and money coverage For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

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If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

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